Emotional health refers to
a set of social and emotional competencies and beliefs, including self-esteem,
self-awareness, empathy, emotional regulation, and relationship skills. All of
these are important in dealing with daily life and challenges, but also help
support children and positive family relationships.
How can parents foster good emotional health within their
families? Here are some tips that may seem like small acts, but can make a big
difference in relationships and communication among family members.
~Keep each other in
mind. Stay tuned into what is going
on with everyone, check in with how things are going on a daily basis.
whole-family time. Set aside time to spend together and plan fun activities as a
family. It does not require anything extravagant, just something that promotes
time with fellow family members. We
need to maintain our individual relationships, also. One-on-one time with each
person in the family provides for time to check in on how they are and tune into
what is going on with them individually.
~Spend meal times
together whenever possible. Try to
have at least one meal a day with each other. Sharing food is an important
social activity and provides time to communicate without screens or phones
each other. Active listening is harder than it might seem, but can make a
significant difference in how we feel we are valued. It encourages the idea
that each person’s voice matters equally.
model open, honest feelings. It is important for children to understand we cannot be happy
all the time and that it is not emotionally healthy to hold in feelings of
frustration, anger, or jealousy. Expressing a wide range of emotionally in a
healthy way acknowledges it is normal to have discomfort in our lives.
~Take time for
yourself. Good emotional health starts with you. It is impossible to
support others if we are not in tune with our own feelings. Do things to
nurture your own well being. By taking good care of yourself, you are better
able to give out to other aspects of our lives.
Emotionally Healthy Families Are Happy Families
-Dr. Paula Sissel